“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow …”
That’s the tune California ski resort operators are finally able to sing. For a while, though, the lyrics were more like a prayer. Summer and fall temperatures lingered unseasonably late, fending off Mother Nature’s attempts at snowmaking and keeping it much too warm to sustain machine-made snow, too.
“This has been our worst start ever,” said Chris Riddle, a spokesman for Snow Summit at Big Bear Lake. “But things are looking up.”
For most ski areas, the first tentative blanketing of snow came in mid-December. At Mammoth Mountain in the High Sierra, with the highest peaks at 11,050 feet, snow began to fall Dec. 11 and lasted for three days.
The Sierra is forecast to get higher-than-normal levels of snow this winter, just as it did last year. Last winter, the mountains received an average of 379 inches, up 70 percent over 1993-94, said Bob Roberts, executive director of the California Ski Industry Association in San Francisco.
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